The anomaly's companion

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Background information, related work, etc., for The anomaly and the goddesses.

Background

Terminology

  • apotheosize: to personify the archetype of an immortal
  • archetype: the abstract role of a god, goddess, or other mythic character, personified initially by the original personification and typically at any point in time by the current personification. Some mythic powers and property attach to the archetype; some remain with the original personification. (might want another word for this because of existing meanings in psychology and literature)
  • cestus: classically defined as "Aphrodite's magic girdle"
  • consort: a partner [although not spouse] of a god or goddess. Under LoO, consorts must be the oppposite gender. Consorts may also be married.
  • current personification: whoever is currently personifying an archetype; may or may not be the original personification
  • deptheosize: to give up the ability to personify an immortal
  • favorite: a person who's been designated the favorite (in some way) of a god or goddess. favorites may same-gender as well as opposite-gender (with somewhat fewer rights for same-gender favorites, but still, under Laws of Olympus this is one of the few cases where there are any rights, so becoming a god's favorite is a great career path for a mortal guy), and may or may not be sexual
  • goddess-born-goddess: a goddess who's both an immortal-born-immortal and a female; contrast with goddess-by-marriage and trans-goddess
  • goddess-by-marriage: a goddess who was not born an immortal, but has goddess status by virtue of being a god's consort. contrast with goddess-born-goddess
  • Gods of Olympus, LLC (GoOCo): the legal entity for the Olympian gods
  • immortal: umbrella term including those born as and currently-personifying gods and goddesses
  • immortal-born-immortal: an immortal who was born that way, as opposed to an immortal-born-mortal. Immortals-born-immortal often have elitist attitudes towards immortals-born-mortals; in addition, immortals-born-mortals rights' are transient
  • incarnate: a god or goddess temporarily or permanently occupying the body of a mortal [or potentially another god or goddess, although this is sometimes referred to as apotheosizing]
  • Laws of Olympus (LoO):, the legal system governing the Olympian gods and goddesses, their mythic property, and more generally the Olympian tradition
  • myth: a narrative [or fragment, or collection], potentially partially or completely fictional, about archetypes
  • mythic IP: intellectual property (IP) that relates to myths; for example, the term "kallisti"
  • mythic powers: special power attached in myths to an archetype, person, object, or ideas; for example, the cestus' power to make people fall in love with whoever's wearing it -- or Hephaestus' craftsmanship that allowed him to create the cestus
  • mythic property: objects with mythic powers (for example, the golden apple), or mythic IP. Mythic property is typically governed under the laws of whatever tradition it's part of (which creates problems when the same mythic property is part of multiple traditions, but that's hopefully beyond the scope of this story).
  • Olympian gods: Apollo, Ares, Dionysus, Hephaestus, Hermes, Poseidon, and Zeus
  • Olympian goddess: Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Hera, and Hestia
  • Olympian tradition: the extended families of the Olympian gods and goddesses, and archetypes in the mythology surrounding them
  • Olympian: as an noun, the Olympian gods and goddess; as an adjective, of or pertaining to the Olympians
  • original personification: the immortal who originally personified the archetype
  • personify: to act as an archetype of a god, goddess, or mortal. For example, the Orpheus in this story is not the original Orpheus (who died), but a mortal or immortal who has inherited, claimed, or been appointed to the archetype. To personify an immortal, a mortal must be apotheosized.
  • ritual wedding: a ceremony establishing a marriage with some magical powers
  • tradition: a collection of archetypes and myths, typically with traditions and rituals, and governed by laws. Example traditions include Egyptian, Olympian, Hindu, Kabbalistic, Wiccan, Catholic, etc. Some traditions have strong taboos against cross-tradition contact or marriage
  • trans-goddess: a trans-immortal who currently identifies as a goddess. contrast with goddess-born-goddess
  • trans-immortal: a god or goddess who was born a different gender, blurs gender roles, and/or identifies as transgendered; in classic Greek mythology, Hermaphroditus and Dionysus are examples

The Laws of Olympus

Thanks to a deal that GoOCo cut with Jack Valenti, a little-known feature of the DMCA means that there are special rules for ownership of certain kinds of mythic objects and ideas. [He may be gone, but his 'dead hand' still influences things.] The rights to the trademark kallisti and the ownership of the golden apple(s) are examples of this "mythic property" and as a result are governed under the (patriarchal, heteronormative) laws of Olympus:

  • mythic property can only be owned by gods and goddesses
  • all mythic property typically belongs to the Olympian gods; goddesses only own property that has been given to them by a god (for example, Aphrodite's cestus, which was a gift from Haphaestus)
  • if mortals wind up in possession of mythic property, they can make an offering to a god or goddess. [In some situations the new owner may have to give some form of recompense to the original owner.] if this offering is not done properly, ownership reverts to the previous or original owner
  • if mortals make an offering to a goddess, the actual ownership instead goes to her husband (if she has one) or her father.
  • if a goddess was given to a god in marriage by her father, and the father is an Olympian god, the father may retain property interests -- or veto power
  • mythic property cannot be given to gods and goddesses outside the tradition
  • if a goddess has children with an Olympian god, that god also has a property interest in her (men's rights advocates wet dream)

The possibilities of marriage (ordinary and ritual) and divorce, apotheosis and depotheosis add additional complexity:

  • When a mortal marries a god or goddess, they become a goddess or god for the duration of the marriage -- or until their partner depotheosizes
  • A god who depotheosizes retains his property rights
  • A newly-apotheosized incarnation of the god archetype essentially essentially has no initial property -- any accumulated property by him or his mythic wife is in actuality the property of the original Olympian god.
  • In divorces, the god typically retains all property interests, at least until the woman marries another god. (If it's a goddess, and she marries a mortal, nothing changes: her ex still has the rights.)
  • Consort arrangements have no affect on property rights

So which of three goddesses to give the apple to (in order for them to open source it)? At first blush:

  • Aphrodite hasn't remarried, so Hephaestus still has the rights; and Zeus [her real or adoptive father] maintains veto power. Also, she had kids with Ares, Dionysos, Hermes, and Poseidon; so they would all have rights.
  • Hera hasn't remarried, and even though she might get together with Orpheus (a mortal), the rights remain with Zeus.
  • Athena has never married, and so the rights remain with Zeus.

Hmm, not good. Can we change the rules of the contest? Eris can't unilaterally change the rules of the contest; however, there's a loophole: with her and Hermes' agreement, the person awarding an apple can give it to somebody he's married to (this didn't come up with Paris because he wasn't married at the time). Awarding it to the anomaly won't help, though: she's not from the tradition.

So (assuming I can find a way to apotheosize), there are a couple of goddesses who might be able to open source the apple:

  • Hestia has never married, has no kids, and her father is a Titan (not Olympian god)
  • Ariadne married Dionysus, who might well give his permission; her father was a mortal, so there aren't any issues there either. (Theseus similarly doesn't come into it)

So if I engage in a ritual marriage with either of them, this will make me a god -- which will allow me to change the terms of the contest to include them. Then I can award them the apple; and they can Creative Commons it it.

Hestia isn't the marrying kind, so it's a non-starter. And there's a complication with Ariadne: she's a goddess-by-marriage, so if she divorces Dionysus, then she loses her goddess status. Even though she and Dionysus are in a non-exclusive relationship, the Laws of Olympus require monogamy -- and consort relationships don't count.

So their aren't any obvious solutions.

Are there other possibilities?

Non-exclusivity

There are many Muses

"No Muse-poet grows conscious of the Muse except by experience of a woman in whom the Goddess is to some degree resident. A Muse-poet falls in love, absolutely, and his true love is for him the embodiment of the Muse..."
-- Robert Graves, The White Goddess

I think it's pretty generally agreed that most artists have multiple Muses. We often only find out about it via memoirs, biographies, or deconstructionist readings (in which case it's sometimes news to the artist as well), but even those who are known for a single Muse often have some youthful flings, engage in a pattern of serial monogamy or cheat just a little. And of course the same person can be a Muse for multiple artists, sometimes even ones that she* doesn't know. This opens up all kinds of possibilities -- and makes Muses a great way of thinking about non-exclusivity and win/win opportunities.

"Creative work comes out of an intense and passionate involvement -- almost as if with a lover, as one (the artist) interacts with the "other" to bring something into being"
-- Jean Shinoda Bolen, Goddesses in Everywoman

Many of my poems and stories have multiple Muses. The anomaly and the goddesses and poems such as Many paths many truths and Elements are not just to multiple muses, at some level they're about having multiple muses. Sometimes the muses are directly credited: Fountains of light is to "for the gemstones and elements that are the women of Seducersworld". Sometimes they're explicit or implicit in the poem's text. Sometimes they're less visible, like the four uncredited Muses for Solitude. Interactions can be complex: the poem cycle Space of desire is for D, and some of individual poems (The journey and In the space of desire, for example) have multiple Muses. All nine of the classical muses are here as well, along with quite a few other goddesses.

Topics still to cover:

  • Goddesses, Elements, Muses, and muses
  • post-publication Muses
  • win/win, artists, and Muses

See also: There are many truths, Many paths many truths, Many truths many paths

* While muses come in all varieties, and there are notable exceptions like the Muse of Michalangelo's David, as an archetype she is typically gendered female or trans. See Genesis' The muse on Seducersworld for more. Artists, by contrast, may be gendered male, female, or trans. Artists can be Muses as well; one good example is Sappho, who has been called the "The Tenth Muse".

Zero, one, many

in progress

Dionysus

DIONYSOS (or Dionysus) was the great Olympian god of wine, vegetation, pleasure and festivity. He was depicted as either an older bearded god or a pretty effeminate, long-haired youth. His attributes included the thyrsos (a pine-cone tipped staff), drinking cup, leopard and fruiting vine. He was usually accompanied by a troop of Satyrs and Mainades (female devotees or nymphs).
-- from Theoi on Dionysos

Miscellaneous factoids from Theoi, wikipedia's pages on Dionysus and the Dionysian mysteries, Gods in Everyman

  • Dionysus is known as Lyaeus ("he who releases") as a god of relaxation and freedom from worry. He was also known as the Liberator (Eleutherios), freeing one from one's normal self, by madness, ecstasy, or wine. The divine mission of Dionysus was to mingle the music of the aulos and to bring an end to care and worry.
  • The retinue of Dionysus was called the Thiasus and comprised chiefly Maenads.
  • Myths say that Hera attempted to kill him as a baby, and then later struck him with madness
  • When Hephaestus bound Hera to a magical chair, Dionysus got him drunk and brought him back to Olympus after he passed out. For this act, he was made one of the twelve Olympians. The absence of an early Olympian Dionysus is today explained in terms of patterns of social exclusion and the marginality of the cult rather than chronology.
  • the god of cross-dressing and effeminacy: "to mislead the mind of spiteful Hera, he moulded his lips to speak in a girlish voice, tied a scented veil on his hair. He put on all a woman’s manycoloured garments: fastened a maiden’s vest about his chest and the firm circle of his bosom, and fitted a purple girdle over his hips like a band of maidenhood."
  • god of wine, party, pleasure ("Without wine there is no longer Kypris [Aphrodite, as goddess joy and pleasure] or any other pleasant thing for men." -- Euripedes, The Bacchae
  • god of madness and halluncinations. from Ovid: "[Dionysos makes phantoms appear:] the crash of unseen drums clamoured, and fifes and jingling brass resounded, and the air was sweet with scents or myrrh and saffron, and - beyond belief! - the weaving all turned green, the hanging cloth grew leaves of ivy, part became a vine, what had been threads formed tendrils, form the warp broad leaves unfurled, bunches of grapes were seen, matching the purple with their coloured sheen. And now the day was spent, the hour stole on when one would doubt if it were light or dark, some lingering light at night’s vague borderlands. Suddenly the whole house began to shake, the lamps flared up, and all the rooms were bright with flashing crimson fires, and phantom forms of savage beasts of prey howled all around."
  • Thus it is not surprising that many of the devotees of Dionysus were originally the outsiders of mainstream society: women, slaves, outlaws and foreigners, non-citizens under Greek democracy. All of these were considered equal in a cult that appears often to have transgressively inverted their roles, much like the Roman Saturnalia. In fact in Greece at its height the Dionysian rites were almost entirely associated with women, allegedly liberating themselves from their suppression in Greek society. However, the fact that the titles of the officers of the cult were of male and female gender disproves the once popular claim that the cult was solely a women's mystery.
  • Dionysos was often regarded as being beyond gender, and was sometimes represented androgenously, but he could also be represented as either highly effeminate or hyper-masculine (though not 'macho'), again manifest in both extremes and beyond all. In the latter case his absent aspect (his Shakti as the Hindus call it) was represented by the goddesses he was closely associated with. (from the Dionysian underground

The Dionysian mysteries

  • The notion behind the Dionysian Mysteries seems to have been of not only the affirmation of the primeval bestial side of mankind, but its mastery and integration into a civilized psychology and social culture. Given the dual role of Ariadne as the Mistress of the Minoan Labyrinth and consort of Dionysus, some have seen the Minotaur story as also partly deriving from the idea of the mastery of mankind's animal nature, though this remains controversial. The self mastery achieved on this way was not one of domination as in similar cults, most famously preserved in contemporary culture as George and the Dragon, and perhaps the original Minotaur myth, but one of acceptance and integration.
  • Following the torches as they dipped and swayed in the darkness, they climbed mountain paths with head thrown back and eyes glazed, dancing to the beat of the drum which stirred their blood' [or 'staggered drunkenly with what was known as the Dionysos gait']. 'In this state of ekstasis or enthusiasmos, they abandoned themselves, dancing wildly and shouting 'Euoi!' [the god's name] and at that moment of intense rapture became identified with the god himself. They became filled with his spirit and acquired divine powers.
  • The basic ritual that accomplished this appear to have been for men the identification with the god Dionysos in a ritual enactment of his myth of life, death and rebirth, including some form of ordeal. This involved a ritualised descent into the underworld or katabasis, apparently often carried out in actual caverns or catacombs, though sometimes more symbolically in temples.... Following this there was usually a communion with the god through shared wine.
  • In contrast the female initiate was prepared as a bride of Dionysos, an Ariadne, and encountered him in union in the underworld. In reference to this the ritual symbol of Dionysos hidden in the Arc till the culmination of the female rites was said to be a goat's penis and later fig wood phallus. After which she undertook a similar communion or wedding feast.
  • Dionysos was also revered at Delphi, where he presided over the oracle for three winter months, beginning in November, marked by the rising of the Pleiades, while Apollo was away "visiting the Hyperboreans". At this time a rite of known as the "Dance of the Fiery Stars" was performed, of which little is known, but appears to have been appropriation of the dead.
  • In sharp contrast to the daytime festivities of the Athenian Dionysia were the biennial nocturnal rites of the Tristeria, held on Mount Parnassus in the Winter. These celebrated the emergence of Dionysos from the underworld, with wild orgies in the mountains. The first day of which was presided over by the Maenads, in their state of Mainomenos, or madness, in which an extreme atavistic state was achieved, during which animals were hunted - and, in some lurid tales, even human beings - before being torn apart with bare hands and eaten raw (this being the infamous "Sparagmos", said to have been once associated with goat sacrifice, marking the harvesting and trampling of the vine). The second day saw the Bacchic Nymphs in their Thyiadic, or raving, state, a more sensual and benign Bacchanal assisted by satyrs, though still orgiastic. The mythographers would explain this with claims that the Maenads, or wild women, were the resisters of the Bacchic urge, sent mad, while the Thyiades, or ravers, had accepted the Dionysiac ecstasy and kept their sanity. This has some plausibility in terms of psychological repression, though sceptics claim the Maenad stories may have been exaggerations to scare away the curious tourist!

Other references

   Lord, with whom conqueror Eros
   and the blue-eyed Nymphs
   and radiant Aphrodite
   like to cavort, you who haunt
   precipitous mountain tops,
   I beseech you, graciously
   join me, take pleasure
   in my prayer and fulfil it:
   give Kleoboulos a piece
   of good advice: to return
   my love, o Dionysos.

References

Art is total freedom

"What is blue? Blue is the invisible becoming visible ...
Blue has no dimensions. It exists outside the dimensions that are other colors....

Art is total freedom, it is life; as soon as there is any imprisonment in any way,
there is an affront to freedom, and life diminishes in proportion to the degree of imprisonment."

(Yves Klein, quoted in Yves Klein, p. 48)


180px-Le_Saut_Dans_le_Vide.jpg


Redefinitions

Art and beauty mold time and space.
It's "now" when I write this, when you read this,
Whenever we think or dream of each other.
And no matter the distance,
We can share sensations as well.
Close your eyes.
Whose fingers do you feel brushing against you?
Asynchronous immediacy. Remote physicality.
Pinch me feel me kiss me hold me.
Now.

(to Katia, april-may, 2006)
(originally in Meditations on desire)

Definitions for anomaly include

  • something that deviates from the norm or from expectations
  • something strange and difficult to identify or classify
  • a deviation from the common rule
  • an irregularity that is difficult to explain using existing rules or theory

Theories, societies, and people have a hard time dealing with anomalies, and so the natural tendency is to make them fit existing norms [or expectations -- or alternatively to try to make them disappear. In many cases it's the anomalies that are the most interesting: the data points that show the limitations of a current theory, the interdisciplinary works that combine different viewpoints, the people with radically different outlooks on the world.

Anomalies are frequently to be intersection points in the network-of-networks. And anomalies tend to attract or discover other anomalies; so they're frequently hubs and linked to other hubs. Scott Page's book The Difference explores how groups with diverse cognitive "toolboxes" (techniques, perspectives and experiences) outperform individuals -- even experts. (A thread on Liminal States gives some examples.) Anomalies provide additional toolboxes to any group, and so as long as the group accepts them and everybody works to overcome communication gaps, contribute disproportionately to better results... and transformational change.

Don't fear the anomaly.

Worship her.

Seduction, Fantasy, and Reality

At least for me, seduction operates largely at the boundary between fantasy and reality.... What's especially exciting is when the fantasies starting in the seduction spill over to the rest of reality -- influencing, transforming ... revealing that the boundary between "fantasy" and "reality" (or "art" and "life") is much fuzzier than we usually consider it. I like that.

-- from Seducersworld, November 2005

A ring that looks like a present

Seeing
(feeling)
(remembering)
(wearing)
glitter
earrings
(crystal, gemstone, glass)
pink, purple, turquoise
lavender nail polish
a bracelet
a choker
(and the sound as it clicks shut)
a ring
that looks like a present.


-- April, 2007, from Space of desire
revised October 2007

Our threads are the ashes of our art

 "We must create ourselves as a work of art" - Foucault

And on social networks, we do

 "... Foucault, it definitely starts with Foucault " - What kind of postmodernist are you!?

This site (especially the poems, stories, and meditations), like my other [online work, is a performative process of transformational self-creation.

"our threads are the ashes of our art"

-- me, after Yves Klein
to a collaborator on a shared work of art
January 2007

Many of the links from eluminatus are to threads and sequences of threads on social media that were originally collaborative performances. The static representation remains after the fact ... but like Yves Klein's paintings, it's only the aftermath of the art.


Rituals

What rituals would make you happier?
What would you like to introduce to your life?
Introduce no more than one or two rituals at a time
and make sure they become habitual before you introduce new ones.
"Incremental change is better than ambitious failure.
Success feeds on itself."

New rituals may be difficult to initiate;
but over time, usually within as litle as thirty days
performing these rituals will become as natural as brushing your teeth.


(Tal Ben-Shahar, Happier, p. 9-10)

Sometimes / Every moment

Sometimes I realize
I've been there all along.
Sometimes I discover I'm there.
Sometimes I drift there more slowly ...


Infinite depth
Infinitely reflected
Extended,
Relaxing,
Recharging,
Blissful,
Transformed ...
Transforming.


April, 2007, from Space of desire

From Dzogchen Ponlop's Mind Beyond Death's discussion of the Dzogchen Buddhist tradition of the four great modes of liberation:





  • decide directly on one thing: this very moment of consciousness is self-liberation; these very experiences of emotions -- of suffering and happiness that are arising -- are the expression of our naked awareness
  • directly recognize our nature, the essential nature of our mind. Apart from this very experience of nowness, this very mind, there is nothing to be pointed out. We recognize that this is it.
  • gain conference in liberation: this very mind that we are experiencing now, in this present moment, is self-liberated







  • Primordial liberation: When a moment of passion arises in a vivid and sharp manner ... it is already free from concepts; therefore, it is primordially and utterly free.
  • Self-liberation: Like a snake that simply uncoils itself form its own not, passion returns to its natural state, already in the nature of transcendence. We cannot purify or transform passion except through passion itself.
  • Naked liberation occurs when the mind observes itself. When passion arises and we look at it nakedly and straightforwardly, the very process of looking liberates the experience of passion. That vibrant, radiant, quality shows us the actual insubstantial nature of mind.
  • Complete liberation occurs when passion is further liberated as mind observes the experience of passion again and again. In the first moment of the arising of passion, we look at it directly, and it liberates itself. In the second moment, we look directly again and it liberates itself further and further, or more completely.

Goddesses: Poems

To the Goddesses Aphrodite, Artemis, Selene,
and of course Eris (just how stupid do you think i am?)

and all the other Goddesses who appear in any of the poems and stories here.
Thank you for all the wonderful inspiration, help, friendship, and dreams!

(original dedication November, 2007)


Come then, I pray, grant me surcease from sorrow,
Drive away care, I beseech thee, O goddess
Fulfil for me what I yearn to accomplish,
Be thou my ally.

(from Sappho's Hymn to Aphrodite)


I offer to you this bowl of water
Shining with the moon's reflection
I offer you incense and night-blooming flowers
White ones, delicate yet strong
Growing where no other was able
Independent, proud and free
Like you, o goddess
(from Hymn to Artemis)


The Asymptote of Desire

She touches my hand.
Sparks fly.
She smiles even more happily.

I realize that
My desire for her now
Is only the beginning.
My desire for her
Will increase every moment
For the rest of my life.

My mind turns off.
She is everything.
She is everywhere.
She transforms my world.

I am calm and relaxed with her,
With my desire for her.

Every instant
Is an eternity.
Infinite ecstasy,
Total bliss.

I relax and experience
The asymptote of desire.


(July - November 2007)


The journey


There are many paths,
To the many destinations
In the space of desire.

Many patterns,
Many lenses
For the patterns
And paths
And destinations.

And goddesses
For company
As we journey down the paths
Together.


April - November, 2007, originally from Space of desire


Imagine this

Imagine a lens
Transforming the observer
Along with the world.

-- for Kathy, March 2007


The words of each line of the first stanza Many truths many paths started out in October 2007 as being almost completely from the links of Many paths many truths; both poems continue to evolve, so it's a steadily-more-imperfect match (as opposed to the two stanzas of Many truths many paths and The Asymptote of Desire/Desiring the asymptote, which are intended to stay in sync).

See also: the Seducersworld thread Many paths, many truths (resurrected)


July 2011: In the last line, I changed "seduction" to "attraction". "Seduction" has inescapable overtones of sexuality and deception, exemplified in Robert Greene's 'Art of Seduction', and "attraction" is a much more positive term. And luckily for me they have thee same number of syllables.

September 2011: I went back to "seduction". It's a great word, and worth reclaiming :)


Triggering Nights
April, 2007, from Space of desire

Listening to music
Triggering memories of nights
In New York, London, LA, Seattle, SF.
At darkwave clubs, lightships, barnevald, dna,
Santa Cruz, the Mojave, the Sierras.

Noticing
(or flirting with!)
a woman who looks like
she's got me written all over her.



Like perfection

Thinking about midnight,
Dreaming about you,
In the space of desire.

Dreaming about redefinitions,
Thinking about elements,
Goddesses in my sweet dreams.

Many paths many truths reflecting,
Many truths many paths crystallizing.

Seduction is ecstatically transforming.
The journey, like perfection

(October 2007/April 2008)


Desiring the asymptote

Imagine this: taking my hand...
Journeying with many Muses ...
Solitude with the elements.

Serenity, in the space of desire.
Midnight. A kiss.

Seduction is melting together.
Seduction is sweet dreams.


(for D, October 31, 2007,
originally from Meditations on desire)


Midnight

A kiss
At midnight

In a club,
A party
In private
Alone

Hearing
Or imagining
A voice
A memory

As we dance together,
Across the room,
Farther away,
Almost touching.

Sitting close to me
Or in bed.
Wearing lingerie.
Or nothing at all ...

Candlelight ...

Any and all of the above ...


(April, 2007, from Space of desire) (revised October 2007)


What rituals would make you happier?
What would you like to introduce to your life?
Introduce no more than one or two rituals at a time
and make sure they become habitual before you introduce new ones.
"Incremental change is better than ambitious failure.
Success feeds on itself."

New rituals may be difficult to initiate;
but over time, usually within as litle as thirty days
performing these rituals will become as natural as brushing your teeth.


(Tal Ben-Shahar, Happier, p. 9-10)

a few of the times i find myself thinking of you:

  • as i wake up, dream images of you mingling with thoughts from the night before -- and anticipation of the day to come. how much more in love with you am i now than when i went to sleep? how much more in love will i be when i go to sleep tonight?
  • in the shower and getting dressed (or contemplating it), replaying yesterday and considering the way i'll approach today. what will i wear, do, say, think that might put a smile on your face -- and remind me of you throughout the day? what experiences and memories and fantasies will this trigger? what opportunities did i miss yesterday, and how will i be more conscious of them today?
  • whenever i check email at a place where we sometimes communicate (will there be something from you? should i drop you a note just to let you know i'm thinking of you?) or my phone rings (will it be you?) or ...
  • whenever i enjoy (or think about) something tasty and/or intoxicating that reminds me of you
  • whenever a word, or phrase, or image, or color that reminds me of you occurs -- in conversation, in something i'm reading or watching, ...
  • whenever i see someone who looks vaguely like you, even if only partially (hair, movements, sense of style) or in general impression ("beautiful", "gorgeous", "sexy", "coquettish")
  • whenever i'm working on, or appreciating, poetry ... any kind of art, really, but especially poetry
  • as i go to sleep perhaps with the words of a favorite poem in mind. how did i transform today? how often did i think of you? how relaxed and happy did it make me feel?
  • when asleep, in my dreams (with you there in my mind as i fall to sleep night after night, i guess it's not surprising this happens so often!) ... or present in my mind even when i'm not dreaming
  • and whenever i experience -- or remember, anticipate, think abstractly, fantasize about -- desire

status check: which do i do regularly? which happen without even thinking about it? what opportunities are there to improve, or add more?


For Fifi, October 2007


Arboretum and Conservatory
April, 2007, from Space of desire

Walking at the arboretum
or in the woods
or at the Pinnacles.
Sunshine, mist or moonlight.

Visiting
(or remembering)
The Conservatory of Flowers.


A ring that looks like a present

Seeing
(feeling)
(remembering)
(wearing)
glitter
earrings
(crystal, gemstone, glass)
pink, purple, turquoise
lavender nail polish
a bracelet
a choker
(and the sound as it clicks shut)
a ring
that looks like a present.


-- April, 2007, from Space of desire
revised October 2007


A kiss

Blue cheese. Honeycomb.
Champagne. Chocolate. Midnight.
Tea for a Goddess.


(October 2007, revised January 2008)


Melting together

Attraction, respect.
Relaxed, melting together.
Our shared work of art.

(december, 2005)

Meditations on desire

There are many Muses

The words of each line of the first stanza Many truths many paths started out in October 2007 as being almost completely from the links of Many paths many truths; both poems continue to evolve, so it's a steadily-more-imperfect match (as opposed to the two stanzas of Many truths many paths and The Asymptote of Desire/Desiring the asymptote, which are intended to stay in sync).

See also: the Seducersworld thread Many paths, many truths (resurrected)


July 2011: In the last line, I changed "seduction" to "attraction". "Seduction" has inescapable overtones of sexuality and deception, exemplified in Robert Greene's 'Art of Seduction', and "attraction" is a much more positive term. And luckily for me they have thee same number of syllables.

September 2011: I went back to "seduction". It's a great word, and worth reclaiming :)

"No Muse-poet grows conscious of the Muse except by experience of a woman in whom the Goddess is to some degree resident. A Muse-poet falls in love, absolutely, and his true love is for him the embodiment of the Muse..."
-- Robert Graves, The White Goddess

I think it's pretty generally agreed that most artists have multiple Muses. We often only find out about it via memoirs, biographies, or deconstructionist readings (in which case it's sometimes news to the artist as well), but even those who are known for a single Muse often have some youthful flings, engage in a pattern of serial monogamy or cheat just a little. And of course the same person can be a Muse for multiple artists, sometimes even ones that she* doesn't know. This opens up all kinds of possibilities -- and makes Muses a great way of thinking about non-exclusivity and win/win opportunities.

"Creative work comes out of an intense and passionate involvement -- almost as if with a lover, as one (the artist) interacts with the "other" to bring something into being"
-- Jean Shinoda Bolen, Goddesses in Everywoman

Many of my poems and stories have multiple Muses. The anomaly and the goddesses and poems such as Many paths many truths and Elements are not just to multiple muses, at some level they're about having multiple muses. Sometimes the muses are directly credited: Fountains of light is to "for the gemstones and elements that are the women of Seducersworld". Sometimes they're explicit or implicit in the poem's text. Sometimes they're less visible, like the four uncredited Muses for Solitude. Interactions can be complex: the poem cycle Space of desire is for D, and some of individual poems (The journey and In the space of desire, for example) have multiple Muses. All nine of the classical muses are here as well, along with quite a few other goddesses.

Topics still to cover:

  • Goddesses, Elements, Muses, and muses
  • post-publication Muses
  • win/win, artists, and Muses

See also: There are many truths, Many paths many truths, Many truths many paths

* While muses come in all varieties, and there are notable exceptions like the Muse of Michalangelo's David, as an archetype she is typically gendered female or trans. See Genesis' The muse on Seducersworld for more. Artists, by contrast, may be gendered male, female, or trans. Artists can be Muses as well; one good example is Sappho, who has been called the "The Tenth Muse".

Elements

Elements

Earth. Air. Water. Fire.
Every night, each morning,
We transform our world.

(February - November, 2007)

Talk:Elements

Seduced by the elements

If you ever have been deeply seduced would you please participate?

i'm pretty good at being deeply seduced, if i do say so myself, so i have a handful of experiences to draw on here ... over the last few years i've had five seductions that have gotten steadily deeper and deeper, and since i've been reading a lot of Tibetan Buddhism recently, i'll refer to the seductresses as Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Space.

I would like to you to share what happened, how it happened, what made you allow yourself to surrender? What did your seducer do, say, behave ?

i'm not sure i "allowed myself" to surrender; all of them are Charismatic Coquettes, as well as Mythic and/or Fetish Stars (and other types too) so it's not clear that i really had a lot of options here :-)

There are three different stages i chart of my surrender to all these seductresses. in terms of what they did and said to get me there, there are a lot of differences in each case -- unsurprisingly, since they're very different people. there are some common themes, though.

In each case there was a time when i became aware that she was transforming my life ... like i said above, that i had surrendered without even making a decision. with Earth, Air, and Fire, i can point to the precise moment when something they said or did fundamentally changed my worldview and self-awareness: Fire asked a single question; Air asked a series of questions and then withone sentence gave me a different way to look at a problem that had been causing me major stress; Earth gave a definition and a way of thinking about the world. Water and Space have a more continuous process, if you will, so that i can't point to the specific instant when i first realized how they were transforming me, but it's the same deal.

Another is the moment i realized "my life will only feel complete with her in it". In all five cases it took a while for me to realize how deeply i was seduced (and these seductions continually deepen, so in a lot of ways i'm constantly discovering it), and then at some point there was a moment when i knew that i was utterly under their spell. These were pretty dramatic realizations for me; i remember them all very clearly, including exactly what song was playing at the time with Space, the way Fire looked in the candlelight, or my feeling as Air once gain asked me a question that revealed things with crystal clarity.

And the third, and most magical, is when i realize that "i can no longer really remember what my life was like before she was in it". Oh, of course i at some level i remember (and sometimes when i reread things that i wrote long ago it's now seems clear that i was anticipating and often fantasizing about her years before i met her), but still: after months, years of having her so completely in my thoughts, my dreams, my life, sharing richer and more intense experiences, creating and reinforcing poeticizations, talking regularly with no boundaries about everything, growing in our different ways -- and helping each other grow ... it becomes such a core part of my life and so firmly ingrained in everything that it feels like this has always been a part of my life.


Can you now recognize the pattern that took place, what physiological and psychological changes happened in you as you as you were allowing this seduction to occur.

Again, i don't really think of it as allowing the seduction to occur; i'm not sure i could have prevented it if i wanted, and also that's got a feel of something that's happening to me, whereas i try to be a very active participant in all these seductions! How about "encouraging" or "helping"?

One pattern i notice is that they all have a very calming effect on me both psychologically and physiologically -- while simultaneously turning me on, but still, i can literally feel my blood pressure dropping. It's most pronounced in person but it happens with phone, chat, and even email.

Psychologically they all have the effect of really deepening my awareness of the world and of myself, so it feels like i'm on a continual journey -- with them as simultaneously traveling companions (because our journeys overlap) and guide (because they're a lot wiser about most things than me). They have all been very helpful at getting me to develop and trust my intuition. There's a real clarity to my view of the world when i discuss things with them; when there's not a chance to talk, i often ask myself things like "how would Space approach this situation?" or remind myself "Earth talked about this once and she said..."

A couple of other things leap out in terms of patterns: we communicate extremely well so there is a real sense of flow; we both learn a lot from each other and it has really changed our interactions with the world; we've worked through problems (personal and/or professional, ours and/or others') together and so communicate well and know a lot about each other's thought processes; we don't get to see or even talk to each other anywhere near enough so we are constantly looking forward to it and savoring every moment ...

The net effect of all of this is that time spent as part of the seduction is somehow "better" than other time in my life, "better" in many different dimensions in ways that are hard to describe but we both know what we're talking about, and that just keep getting steadily better and better over time.

Did your seducer have to overcome resistance on your part? How did she do that.

While sometimes it took me a while to realize the extent of the seduction, i don't think i resisted being seduced in any of these cases. But sometimes i do resist, consciously or unconsciously, when somebody who has seduced me is trying to help me transform.

i spend a lot of time talking about seduction with all of them, and am very open and honest, so they all have a very clear picture of how best to overcome my resistance; and they ask each other's advice, so between them they have a very clear picture of what works with me -- and for them.

Probably most important, they all have high standards, and are very direct in terms of what they want. They know that i see being seduced by them as a real privilege as well as a treat, and how much i appreciate their attention, and so use that to help move the seduction in a way that works for both of us: positive reinforcement via appreciation and praise, correction and suggestions when there's room for improvement, and letting me see their disappointment when they feel i could have done better.

In terms of specific techniques, all of them poeticize themselves extensively. We enjoy discussing art and poeticizations (and the idea of poeticization) and actively seek out ways to bring them more deeply in our lives, with each other and more broadly. With their encouragement, i go out of my way to surround myself with poeticizations that remind me of them -- and they're all Muses for me, so i also spend a lot of time creating art under their inspiration. It's hard to know for sure but i think that at least for me this combination leads to the seduction unfolding much more intensely than in situations where this wasn't so much the case.


-- questions from Eon's Seduction questions for the men thread on Seducersworld

Goddesses

The following goddesses appear in the poems and stories here (as well as potentially others who have not yet revealed themselves):

And of course all nine Muses: Calliope (the "beautiful of speech", chief of the muses and muse of epic or heroic poetry), Clio (the "glorious one", muse of history), Erato (the "amorous one", muse of love and erotic poetry), Euterpe (the "well-pleasing", muse of music and lyric poetry), Polymnia (the "[singer] of many hymns", muse of sacred song, oratory, lyric, singing and rhetoric), Terpsichore (the "[one who] delights in dance", muse of choral song and dance), Thalia (the "blossoming one", muse of comedy), and of course Urania (the "celestial one", muse of astronomy ... gee, I wonder who that would be?).

Some of the others I expect might be here include: Hera (especially after the draft of The anomaly and the goddesses, Tara, Parvati, Hebe (goddess of youth and cupbearer), Demeter, Nemesis, Eos (dawn), Hecate (in her role in of goddess of sorcery), Nike, ...